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 FROM COMMISSIONER MILLER

Joint Effort Required to Clean Up the Indian River Lagoon

March 20, 2016
 
Mike Miller
Vice Mayor, City of Cocoa Beach
 
The citizens of Cocoa Beach are all devastated by the condition of the Banana River Lagoon, as evidenced by the recent fish kill.  And we are not alone.  It was the primary issue of discussion last week at the Space Coast League of Cities meeting, attended by both Mayor Tim Tumulty and me.  The Space Coast League of Cities is comprised elected officials representing the 20+ municipalities of Brevard County.  Our neighboring Mayors, Commissioners, and Council members are enraged by the condition of the Indian River Lagoon, which includes the Indian River, Banana River and their tributaries.  We have all contributed to the problem and are all responsible for taking corrective action.  Federal, State, County, and Local governments, and individual citizens as well must contribute to the effort.     
 
The Space Coast League of Cities is drafting a joint resolution to be adopted by each municipality, prevailing upon Federal and State governments to support legislation to clean up the Indian River Lagoon.  Both remedial and preventative measures will be required.
 
The City of Cocoa Beach has taken corrective action within our jurisdiction:

  1. The Water Reclamation system recycles waste water from being discharged into the Banana River
      2      The City has installed sanitary sewer lines throughout the city and eliminated all but a handful of septic sewer tanks which are prone to leak untreated sewage into the Banana River
      3      A new sediment control pond at the Cocoa Beach Country Club eliminates storm runoff from being discharged into the Banana River
      4      Insituform has recently completed lining our aging sewer pipes to prohibit leaking either into or out of the sanitary sewer lines
      5      The City Commission approved an Ordinance to prohibit the fertilizing lawns during the rainy season to limit nitrates from being discharged into the Banana River
      6      The City obtained a grant from Brevard County and is currently dredging the Banana River north of Route 520
      7      The City obtained funding from the State of Florida to build a seawall along the Cocoa Beach Country Club to prevent erosion into the Banana River
      8      The City obtained funding from the State of Florida to offset more than half of the cost of updating aging infrastructure along Minutemen Causeway from Cedar Street to the Atlantic Ocean
 
 
Cocoa Beach citizens may take meaningful actions, as well:
  1. File a formal complaint with the Florida Wildlife and Water service about the recent fish kill and deteriorating condition of the Indian River Lagoon
      2. Contact Federal and State representatives urging support for remedial and preventative legislation to clean up the Indian River Lagoon

      3      Refrain from allowing grass clippings or landscape trimmings from falling into the Banana River
      4      Refrain from sweeping both organic and road debris into the storm drainage inlets at the street
      5      Monitor private landscape services to ensure they handle grass clippings and landscape trimmings properly
      6      Support more stringent regulations as may be required by the City to prevent organic material from being discharged into the Banana River
      7      Support funding for additional infrastructure projects as may be required by the City to do our part
 
If the City government and individual citizens of Cocoa Beach all do our part to clean up the Indian River Lagoon, we can prevail upon Federal and State governments to meet their commitments, as well.

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